Is repair install availble?

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Installation' started by churin, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. churin

    churin Guest

    Is a repair install as with Windows XP available with Windows Vista? The
    purpose here is to change the CD Key.
    churin, Apr 17, 2007
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  2. churin

    pvdg42 Guest

    Answered in the general group by Frank.

    No need to do that. Just go to control panel/system and click on "change
    product key".
    pvdg42, Apr 17, 2007
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  3. churin

    Chad Harris Guest

    Hi Churin--

    AFAIK it is not. Several people have posted trying with no success on this
    group and the general group. If you have the DVD you can try a repair
    install and let us know your results. It's not going to make things any
    worse. What is available are:

    1) If you have a DVD (and the majority of pre-loaded PC buyers do not--much
    to my regret and MSFT and the OEM's unadulterated greed that outweighs
    giving their end users the tools they have developed to fix Vista) you can
    use the Win RE (Recovery Environment tools including the few click Startup
    Repair from the recovery link off the DVD's setup screen).

    2) You have the panoply of options from F8 which includes the possibility of
    four safe mode>>system restore options and LKG (Last Known Good)

    ***Startup Repair and System Restore from the Win Recovery Environment on
    the DVD***

    You can run Startup Repair by putting your Vista DVD in after the
    language screen in setup. You can also run System Restore from the same

    You run the startup repair tool this way (and system restore from here is
    also sometimes effective):

    How To Run Startup Repair In Vista Ultimate (Multiple Screenshots)

    Note The computer must be configured to start from a CD or from a DVD. For
    information about how to configure the computer to start from a CD or from a
    DVD, see the information that came with the computer.
    2. Restart the computer. To do this, click Start, click the arrow next to
    the Lock button, and then click Restart.

    This usually means that you enter bios setup by whatever key or keys
    (sometimes there is more than one key that will do it for your model--go to
    pc manufacturer site) and configure CD to be first in the boot order (this
    will allow you to boot from the Vista DVD as well):

    See for ref:
    Access/Enter Motherboard BIOS

    Boot Order in Bios (Set Boot from HD 1st)

    Note If you cannot restart the computer by using this method, use the power
    button to turn off the computer. Then, turn the computer back on.

    3. Set your language preference, and then click Next.

    Note In most cases, the startup repair process starts automatically, and you
    do not have the option to select it in the System Recovery Options menu.

    4. Click Repair your computer.

    5. In the System Recovery Options dialog box, click the operating system
    that you want to repair, and then click Next.

    6. In the System Recovery Options menu, click Startup Repair to start the
    repair process.

    7. When the repair process is complete, click Finish.

    Additional References for Startup Repair With Screenshots:

    How to Use Startup Repair:

    ***Accessing Windows RE (Repair Environment):***

    1) Insert Media into PC (the DVD you burned)

    2) ***You will see on the Vista logo setup screen after lang. options in the
    lower left corner, a link called "System Recovery Options."***

    Screenshot: System Recovery Options (Lower Left Link)

    Screenshot: (Click first option "Startup Repair"

    How To Run Startup Repair In Vista Ultimate (Multiple Screenshots)

    3) Select your OS for repair.

    4) Its been my experience that you can see some causes of the crash from
    theWin RE feature:

    You'll have a choice there of using:

    1) Startup Repair
    2) System Restore
    3) Complete PC Restore

    ***Using the F8 Environment or a Repair Install from the DVD:***

    See for ref:
    Access/Enter Motherboard BIOS

    Boot Order in Bios (Set Boot from HD 1st)

    Repair Install

    Repair Install (Method 2):

    III Taking Full Advantage of the F8 Options (Windows Advanced Options Menu)
    by startin gth ePC and tapping F8 once per second:

    You could also:

    Think: I have 4 different ways to get back my XP at F8 and try 'em in order.
    1) Safe Mode 2) Safe Mode with Cmd to Sys Restore which is simply a cmd
    prompt in safe mode 3) Safe Mode with Neworking 4) LKG or Last Known Good

    Try to F8 to the Windows Adv Options Menu>try 3 safe modes there (I don't
    use WGA) and Last Known Good>then I go to Win RE in Vista. That gives you a
    choice of Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking,and Safe Mode with Command

    These methods are outlined in

    A description of the Safe Mode Boot options in Windows XP/and Vista

    How to Use System Restore

    Frequently Asked Questions Regarding System Restore from MSFT:

    Using System Restore

    System Restore for Windows XP

    How to start the System Restore tool at a command prompt in Windows XP;en-us;304449

    Repair Install: (This option has the best chance of succeeding and it
    preserves everything in your OS--you do not lose anything with this option):

    Make sure the DVD you have is a Vista DVD

    Pitfalls: If the DVD came from friend or relative or P2P, you may have
    problems. P2P besides being illlegal in many countries including the U.S.
    can be corrupt. If CD came from friend or relative, they may have given
    you the CD to use but if product key is in use, MSFT is not going to accept
    it for activation. Make sure you clean the CD carefully using proper
    cleaning fluid and strokes that radiate from center like spokes on a wheel.

    Again a repair install has the most likely chance to succeed, but you need
    to have an Vista DVD.
    First, in order to do a Repair Install You must boot to the bios setup and
    position booting from the "CD" first in the boot order--it probably will not
    say DVD but might.

    Booting to Bios Setup:

    For 85% of PC's and all Dells you can tap the F2 key to reach bios setup.

    How To Enable DVD/CD Rom Support (put CD boot first) in bios setup boot

    Screen Shot of bios setup boot order:

    Repair Install Does Not Lose Anything; you may need to try 2-3 times but
    that's rare.

    How To Repair Install
    Screen Shot Repair Install

    Good luck,

    Chad Harris, Apr 17, 2007
  4. churin

    Chad Harris Guest


    I should have made clear (and I'll modify my links)--the best that I can
    find out right now is that a repair install won't work for a number of
    people in Vista the way it does in XP, (I included the links for it because
    you don't have any downside to trying if it fails and in XP it's a great
    help and in my hands 100% reliable). The other day on a thread Rock had said
    he would contact Darrell Gorter at MSFT who is in the setup area and get his
    view on this.

    I haven't seen anything from any of MSFT's sites that says Vista supports a
    repair install, and if I had access to a lab environment I'd break Vista a
    significant number of times and ways to try the efficacy of a Repair

    In XP this a Repair Install was alternately called an inplace upgrade in
    some of the MSKBs.

    Chad Harris, Apr 17, 2007
  5. churin

    Rock Guest

    Chad, several people have now said they have successfully done an upgrade of
    Vista over itself, in essence a repair install, to fix a problem
    installation. I think it was JimR who gave details on two systems he fixed
    this way.

    Darrell Gorter replied to my query. He said is should be a viable option.

    Of course with all this, there is no information on how successful this
    process is / will be overall.
    Rock, Apr 18, 2007
  6. I haven't seen anything definitive as to whether such a 'repair' install
    a) preserves existing data
    b) preserves installed third-party programs.
    Gary VanderMolen, Apr 18, 2007
  7. churin

    churin Guest

    Thanks for your response. So, it is lot simpler to do it on WVT than on WXP.
    churin, Apr 19, 2007
  8. churin

    churin Guest

    Thank you very much for the info.
    churin, Apr 19, 2007
  9. churin

    Rock Guest

    I believe it did in the cases JimR outlined. Maybe he will see this thread
    and reply. I certainly wouldn't try it except as a last resort, and then
    only after making sure all data was backed up.
    Rock, Apr 19, 2007
  10. churin

    Chad Harris Guest


    Thanks. This is helpful information. I haven't had any no boot situations
    with Vista RTM yet, but I did have a few with different Betas. I'm glad this
    is an option. The next time I have one or someone I know does, I will give
    it a try.

    I have seen no boot situations I couldn't fix with Startup Repair that
    didn't fit the situation for some of the other components of Win RE--that I
    was able to fix with System Restore (from the Win RE recovery link on the
    DVD--and some I fixed with one of the F8 options--a safe mode to system
    restore). A repair install would have been a good option for those.

    I read where Gary VanderMolen raised the question of preserving existing
    data and 3rd party programs, and

    1) It has always preserved them when used in XP
    2) I have not had an instance in no boot XP situations not caused by purely
    hardware situations (like for example a loose memory stick or incompatible
    memory stick) where a repair install has not been successful. I have had
    two out of over a couple hundred where I had to do a repair install more
    than once to have success --i.e. the first one didn't work so I tried a
    repair install a second time.

    MSFT usually qualifies those KBs with a caveat (which I imagine their legal
    people ask them to add when they are talking about fixing catastropic
    situations) but I fell a repair install in XP is a real ace in the hole and
    a valuable high success tool. You have to have the CD (and in Vista you'd
    of course need the DVD).

    As time with Vista extends a few more months, I suspect there will be more
    reports of repair installs--and maybe MSFT will address this in some future

    Chad Harris, Apr 19, 2007
  11. churin

    Rock Guest

    I think in the two scenarios JimR described both systems could boot, but
    there were other problems with it that system restore didn't help.
    Rock, Apr 20, 2007
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